How to Reach the C&I Customer on Energy Efficiency.

Posted by Energy Wire on March 19, 2015 at 2:46 PM

The 2015 Ecova Outlook Survey reports that 57% of executives, finance and sustainability professionals expect an increase in the time and money spent on energy and sustainability management this year.* Consumers are expecting more action from companies and companies are demonstrating an increased willingness to invest. 

How do we, as marketers for energy solutions companies, reach this audience and leverage this important expectation?

KSV conducted qualitative interviews with business owners and executives to find out. Three key themes emerged from these conversations: Personalization, Engagement and Benefits.

A successful value proposition for C&I customers should align with their needs in a language they already speak. Too often we say, “Lower your energy costs” or “Increase your efficiency.” This is not standard conversation, unless perhaps, you’re the facility or operations manager… and these aren’t your decision makers. How do we help these people sell up the management chain?

In our interviews, one CEO stated, “You have to educate someone about the inefficient areas so they pay attention to it. We just assume some costs are constant, outside our realm of control.”

While there is an increased interest in more efficient operations and sustainable infrastructures, the decision to invest still needs to make business sense. (And that means more than just reducing energy costs.) To capture the attention of C-suite executives and top managers, you need to present solutions to their business goals.

Assure these customers that energy efficiency is not about using less or producing less. No one wants to shrink industry. The goal is to operate efficiently, and simply to invest less in waste.

From their perspective, here are some elements of what success looks like:

·      Reduced operations and maintenance (O&M) costs

·      Reduced risk

·      Increased asset value

·      Increased equipment reliability

·      Increased employee engagement, productivity and safety

·      New business opportunities

We need to fit your products and programs into the business goals of this audience. While they may not think they have an “energy” problem, what company doesn’t want to reduce O&M? Especially if by doing so, they’re also able to increase their corporate citizenship and sustainability?

In this emerging market of energy solutions, our clients always want to be seen as a “trusted advisor” to customers. In order to do this, utilities, energy efficiency programs and ESCOs need to stop talking energy, and start talking benefits.

Breathe new life into your C&I programs. Help customers navigate the right energy investments by selling your products and services as solutions to their business – not just their bill.

Get in touch with Lauren Bell to learn more about our interviews with business owners, executives and strategic philosophy on reaching this audience.

Lauren Bell / Engagement Manager / / 802.862.8261